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Just weeks before the Green Bay case, three off-duty Minneapolis police officers — William C. Woodis, Christopher J. Bennett and Andrew R. Allen — were wrapping up court proceedings related to an alleged assault during a fight on Nov. 19, 2012, outside an Apple Valley bar. The white officers were among a group of white men who followed a group of black men into the parking lot of Bogart’s Place, knocking one of them down and beating him, according to the Apple Valley police report. The black men said the Minneapolis officers used racial slurs.
Woods and Bennett plead guilty to disorderly conduct; charges against Allen were dismissed. The three officers are still the subjects of an Internal Affairs investigation.
The question of how Minneapolis disciplines police officers has been under renewed scrutiny after the Apple Valley and Green Bay incidents. According to a Star Tribune analysis, the city of Minneapolis made $14 million in payouts for alleged police misconduct between 2006 and 2012, but the Police Department rarely concluded that the officers involved did anything wrong.
Citing that record, community activist Mel Reeves said he considered Tuesday’s decision a first step.
“It’s a step in the right direction, but we will know they are really serious when they start punishing cops who are guilty of brutalizing people,” he said.
David.Chanen@startribune.com 612-673-4465 Randy.Furst@startribune.com 612-673-7382 Matt.McKinney@startribune.com 612-673-7329